MONTICELLO, Ky. — The denial of an InfinityLink cable franchise request sparked controversy Monday night at the regular meeting of the Monticello City Council.
The request was submitted by InfinityLink in May.
At the beginning of the session, City Clerk Greg Latham, who also serves on the Community Telecom Systems (CTS) board, which is the local cable company, spoke to Mayor Tracie Sexton and the Council about relations between InfinityLink and CTS. CTS is owned by the City of Monticello and Wayne County.
From November of 2017 and until May of 2020, InfinityLink had reportedly been paid approximately $238,000 while serving as a consultant for Community Telecom Services. A short time after their contract was terminated by the local CTS board, they requested the franchise from the City of Monticello.
Latham told the council about the breakdown in relations between InfinityLink and CTS. Latham stated CTS opted to end the contract and alleged that InfinityLink accessed the local cable system after the termination – shutting down phone service, causing TV channel lineup problems and interrupting internet access to customers. Latham recommended the city deny the franchise request and his recommendation was unanimously approved.
Before the meeting ended, Dale Hancock, the former manager of CTS – who is currently a contractor for Access Cable - was given the floor. Hancock spoke to the council about his previous management of the local cable system..
The meeting came to a screeching halt as an exchange of words broke out between Hancock and council members regarding talk of Chinese made equipment that InfinityLink allegedly placed in the CTS headend. The equipment had reportedly been banned by the federal government. Motions were quickly made to conclude the regular session, but conversations by Hancock carried over into the parking lot after the meeting adjourned.